Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway
Named one of the 10 Most Outstanding Byways in North America, Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway includes both Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road.Download Map PDF
Some of the Most Incredible Roads Anywhere
The Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway complements the park's three scenic drives and includes some of the most dramatic natural and historic features in the Black Hills. It consists of a loop made up of four numbered highways: SD 87 (Needles Highway), SD 89, SD 244, and US Route 16A (Iron Mountain Road). Sites include the Needles, Mount Rushmore, and a bird’s-eye view of the rocky peaks and forested hills of the Black Hills National Forest.
The byway is named for Peter Norbeck, a South Dakota conservationist, Governor and U.S. Senator. Norbeck planned and surveyed most of the roads located within the park and his vision inspired Custer State Park, Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
How Long Does It Take to Drive Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway
While it can be driven in three to four hours, you most likely will want to devote most of a day’s time to the Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway and wildlife watching along the way. Shaggy white mountain goats, deer and chipmunks are among the commonly-seen wildlife. Count on many stops for photographs, lunch at Sylvan Lake Lodge, The State Game Lodge, or Legion Lake Lodge, and a visit to Mount Rushmore National Memorial.Where to Eat
Where to Start
Highways 16A, 244, 89 and 87 combine to create the route. Just like Peter Norbeck did when he mapped the route on foot, visitors find that a good starting point is the historic State Game Lodge, which served as the Summer White House in 1927. Here, visitors will enjoy breakfast at the restaurant, stop at Coolidge General store for snacks, and visit the Custer State Park Visitor Center before journeying on to Iron Mountain Road a few miles North. This route ensures that your first sight of Mount Rushmore is viewed through the tunnels that 'frame' the national monument--all in anticipation of your stop there.Start at the State Game Lodge
Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway Tunnels
Drivers should be aware of all tunnel sizes in Custer State Park, and Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway takes you through them all, the narrowest being Needles Eye Tunnel.
Iron Mountain Road | US 16A Scenic N
Doane Robinson Tunnel: 12'0" Wide / 11'4" High
C.C. Gideon Tunnel: 13'0" Wide / 11'0" High
Scovel Johnson Tunnel: 10'9" Wide / 11'0" High
Needles Highway | SD 87 N
Needles Eye Tunnel: 8'0" Wide / 9'9" High
Iron Creek Tunnel: 8'9" Wide / 10'10" High
Sylvan Lake Road | SD 87/89, North of Sylvan Lake
Hood Tunnel: 8'9" Wide / 9'8" High
Book a Guided Tour
A Custer State Park Resort open-air Jeep can be booked privately for your tour of parts of Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. Not long enough? Book two back-to-back and give us a call.Book a Jeep Tour
Lodging at Custer State Park Resort
Ready to start planning your trip? Explore lodging options and book your stay.
Along the Way
There are several delicious dining options spread throughout the park, all open seasonally from the beginning of May through mid-October. Come hungry and ready to explore more them all.
Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour
Take an unforgettable safari through the park in search of pronghorns, elk, and the noble buffalo.
Hayride & Chuck Wagon Cookout
Evening scenic wildlife hayride followed by a steak dinner and live entertainment in the CSP backcountry.
No matter which lodge you find yourself drawn to exploring, our Custer State Park Resort stores have you covered.
Guided Trail Rides
One of the most peaceful ways to explore the park's prettiest spots.
World-class hiking. Custer State Park is home to dozens of premiere trails for hikers of all skill levels.
A beautiful 45-minute scenic byway takes you to the majestic National Memorial from Custer State Park.
Crazy Horse Memorial
Just 20 minutes from the West Entrance to Custer State Park, don't miss Crazy Horse Memorial.
Black Elk Peak
While the trailhead is located in the Park at Sylvan Lake, most of the trail winds through the Black Hills National Forest.